Concert at Bingham Auditorium
The Mahoosuc Community Band gave its summer concert at Bingham Auditorium last Monday. Its program had three favorites: Volare, Cabaret and a Louis Armstrong medley. Simon Smith was the guest conductor for the Cabaret number. Simon has played prominently in the Telstar orchestra and with the Mahoosuc Band.
While the audio and acoustics in Bingham Auditorium are a welcome improvement over the acoustics for performances in the Congo Church, the band’s stage seating needs some rearrangement otherwise all the audience sees are music holders and musicians’ knees.
A one minute video of concert highlights is on YouTube via Google query “Concert at Bingham Auditorium-YouTube” or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOFayWi7JgE.
Catch Up News – NTL Labs at Bethel Inn
A large NTL group of participants and staff stayed at and conducted two lab sessions at the Bethel Inn this summer. Last year there was no NLT group meeting in Bethel. Both lab sessions were held at the Bethel Inn Conference Center – one was the general Human Interaction lab and the other had the neat title of “So You Want to Run a T-Group.” The latter workshop/lab covers learning how to deliver NTL’s core offering, the Human Interaction Laboratory.
Of the Bethel Inn’s many facilities, the conference center which can account for 28 of the 100 years of Inn history has proven a major asset for the inn to attract business and non-profit groups. In was originally built to handle NTL workshops as NTL had to leave Gould Academy. This summer for example the Inn has hosted nationwide and statewide group meetings – something it could not handle without the conference center.
Brad Jerome and Diana Polli both also emphasize the success they have seen this summer in holding outdoor lobster bakes at the Songo Lake House and at the Recreation Center’s pool.
The Songo Pond Camp has been a Bethel Inn property for 99 of the Inn’s 100 years. William Upson, Inn co-owner at the time, deeded one-half of the property to William Bingham 1914 as the Inn acquired the site.
Part Two of Bethel Waste Water Treatment a.k.a. Water Pollution Control Facility
At the treatment plant office there are two computer systems (networks) that tell their human operators the status of what’s going on at the plant and out in the collection area that covers Telstar to Mill Hill to Bridge Street and the areas in between. Rick Davis was the operator on duty Friday afternoon and he gave me a run down on what each computer system did.
The sewage collection system depends on four pumps located at Telstar, Vernon Street, Mill Hill and Bridge Street. At the office desk, one screen displays the main elements of the system and selectively called up screens display how the parts of system are running (using electricity) as well as the volume of flow through the four pumps and pipes carrying fluid to the plant. Energy efficiency is the goal of using computers to manage pump motors and heaters in a way that uses the least amount of electricity. In both areas of the systems, operators can use the computer keyboards to step in to change, start or stop the way a certain part of the systems are running. Instead of a simple desktop computer, the actual body of the computer is housed in a large cabinet. They reminded me of the computers for the Nike air defense missile battery control system that I had the privilege of operating (for training and defense readiness) at Painesville, Ohio over 50 years ago.
Inside the plant area itself a second computer system monitors, controls and reports how the various stages of sewage treatment is progressing. What the operator sees on the screen is a schematic diagram of all the subcomponents of the plant. For example on Friday afternoon one window showed that 73 gallons a minute was flowing from the plant to the Androscoggin after completing treatment. Another window showed power plant usage at 20.1 kilowatts. Another window would list current alarms if a malfunction had triggered an alarm.
Using their home laptops, the supervisor and operators on duty can monitor the state of plant and system operation from home. They can also step in and make adjustments, shut-downs, etc from a laptop at home the same as if they were in the office.
The plan is that when the forthcoming upgrades to the dewatering system has been installed, a single computer system will cover both plant and collection area functions.
This Old House
Dan Gibbs Building and Remodeling Company has been refurbishing the now departed Bakers’ (Gould Academy) home on Elm Street for the past few weeks. Old time Bethel Theatre fans would probably call it the old Zallen House. Actually it is one of the oldest houses in Bethel village probably built in the 1830s. Then it was Sylvester Robertson’s (1815-1905) home. It sat back a ways from but faced Main Street. Louis and Florice Paul lived there while Louis was projectionist for the theatre.
Anyway Mr. Gibbs has discovered some building treasures that he showed me recently. One of the upgrades was to replace all the windows with energy efficient ones. Some of the old windows had sash weights and the window frames had been reconstructed to provide channels for the weights to travel up and down; other windows had “cam locks” that allowed the window to be raised and locked in position. A UK Web page on sash history reported that use of sash weights goes back to the 17th century when glass was expensive to make and windows were made with six small panes per sash section.
Another find was an instance where a brace for part of the old house frame was made from a Poplar tree trunk section that still had bark on it and had been squared on just two sides by hand tools. One of the front rooms had flooring of 12-inch plus wide boards. And other wide board find was on the outside back wall where a board looked to be wider than a foot; Dan brought his tape measure out to check and it was 16 and one-half inches wide. One could tell from the saw marks that it had come from a saw mill which operated the saw up and down as the log was moved against the saw.
New House Rising on High Street
Information from the Bethel CEO says the new home going up on High Street is owned by Jennine Carrier and the builder is Schiavi Homes.
Mollyockett – the Massachusetts Connection
In 1957 the Bethel Bazaar folks wanted to spiff up the Bazaar to join in the celebration of Mayflower II sailing from England to Plymouth, Mass. So the group adopted Mollyockett as the new Bazaar name.
Recently Massachusetts news reported that Plymouth businesses were thrilled that Mayflower II was out of dry dock after 8 months of reconditioning – Plymouth hoped to see tourists (and their spending) return as before to see the historic ship.
Talking with Rick Davis last Friday, he told me that he had grown up in the Norwell-Plymouth area and his father had been in the boat building and repair business. Rick said on boarding the ship one would see his father’s name on a plaque there.